Computer Science: Parallel Computing Systems

Become an expert of the many-core age

Systems that drive the world we live in

Parallel computing systems are ubiquitous today. From laptops and mobile phones to global-scale compute infrastructures, parallel computing systems drive the world we live in. Although motivated by advances in hardware design, the many-core revolution has a profound impact on engineering software: Only software explicitly dedicated to parallel architectures can fully exploit today's hardware potential and benefit from future gains in hardware performance. Only software engineers who are true experts in parallel computing systems can make an impact on future software. For this track, leading research groups in the areas of parallel system architecture, programming parallel systems, and performance optimization team up to educate the future experts of the many-core age. 

This track covers all aspects of parallel computing systems, from hardware to software, and the entire range of scale from laptops to compute servers, GPU accelerators, heterogeneous systems and large-scale, high-performance compute infrastructures. The track includes much practical work that uses a unique, world-class infrastructure, the Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS). Being around for almost two decades, the brand new 5th generation system DAS-5 covers the entire range of scale of parallel systems today and is equipped with a variety of the latest many-core devices. The track also optimally benefits from the local SURFsara supercomputing center and the Netherlands eScience Center, that both are involved in numerous real-world applications.

For detailed information on the courses of the track Computer Science: Parallel Computing Systems, please check our Study Guide. General info on the master's programme in Computer Science.

Track coordinator
Jacopo Urbani:

This track is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities.

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Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

Overview Computer Science: Parallel Computing Systems




2 years



September intake
1 April for EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students*
1 June for holders of a Dutch bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality).
* EU/EEA students (exept for Dutch students) with an international degree who do not need housing services through VU Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.

February intake
1 November for non-EU/EEA students
1 December for EU/EEA students


1 September and 1 February




Computer Science, Mathematics and Business